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Perk and Wally Jackson

Four years ago, I received a most unusual package.  The return address was Ft. Stockton, San Diego.  It was a small heavy box and it rattled like tire chains.  What a wonderful surprise!  Sam’s sea glass collection!  He knew my favorite walks took me along the Avalon, NJ beaches to hunt for these exciting sea treasures.  His gift is one of my all time favorites.  It delights me each morning on my kitchen counter, inside the gaping mouth of a glass fish.  I’m sure he remembered where he found each piece, as he would closely inspect each one lovingly, as I do.  Speaking of treasures, Sam has been our family treasure.  No one could ever match his love and concern for all of God’s gifts.  Anywhere we went with him, he touched others’ lives.
Several years ago, an artist in Bethany Beach asked if he could sketch Sam’s face.  He quickly drew a wonderful likeness of Sam with his Greek fisherman’s cap.  The artist must have seen the kindness and joy of living reflected in his face.  I learned lots of things from Sam. At our lake house, among the treetops of north Jersey, Sam coaxed Chickadees to first, the deck railing, and then to his hand to feed.  He encouraged me to try it, and by golly it was unforgettable to have a wild bird land and feed from your hand.
When Bruce and Greg were young, Marj and Sam walked with us along the beach in Duck, NC, on a moonlit night.  We were amazed to see phosphorescent jellyfish lining the breaking waves and shining when they washed up on the sand.  In the afternoon, we collected raccoon clams from the bay.
Sam made every trip we took much more interesting.  He loved to collect “goonies”.  He collected them in mines we visited in Jersey.  He’d take a bucket to the beach in Cape May to collect colorful pebbles, or Cape May Diamonds, which he hauled back to Royal Oak for a place on a garden path.
To walk with Sam was to take notice of nature’s gifts.  Did you know that seeds from impatiens ‘explode in your hand?  He never looked at things, he examined them and noted every aspect.  Sam and Wally had great fun trying to win the lottery.  They played their own numbers, each others’ numbers, Eleanor’s numbers and all manner of combinations.  They each called the other ‘old man’ and took this lottery situation seriously.  They set their sights on a special 100 year old store/post office in Stillwater, NJ to get their winning tickets.  The fun was obviously in the chase!
Sam endeared himself to people everywhere.  When we went to the Greek Mill St. Pub in Mays Landing, NJ, Sam took pictures of the wait staff and even asked to have a picture with the chef to exclaim how much he appreciated the food and atmosphere.  They always asked about him when we’d return there, even a year later.  Sam was never idle.  When he visited our Avalon cottage, he collected huge rocks, painted them white and lined the edge of the garden.  It was lovely!
He would rake up Mimosa, trim hydrangea and pull weeds.  At our lake house, he along with younger Spyros, spread a truckload of black dirt on the yard and planted grass.  It was beautiful when it sprouted!  He divided all the hosta plants and created a whole new row (for the deer to munch on)….just kidding!
In Cape May he could always be found weeding around the iris, hosta and lilies!  Marj and Sam got us started with camping.  They showed us how to do it and our family spent at least 10 years enjoying the summers.  They shared so many good times with us, visiting, playing cards, going on side trips, ‘munching’ and just being together!  On our last trip to San Diego to see Sam and Marj, we said our goodbyes at the Cloisters the night before our flight.  Our flight was leaving early and the next morning we found ourselves very close to the Cloisters on the way to the airport.  We both went in around 6:30 AM.  Sam opened his eyes and was so very happy to see us one more time.  He  said it was, “Memorable!”  That it was, for all of us!
I think back to our trip with Marj and Sam to Pt. Loma, 3 years ago.  When we passed the Naval cemetery, with row upon row of crosses and Stars of David, Sam said to us, “They all know something we don’t know.”  Now dear Brother, you know something we don’t know.  But what we all do know, is that you are much loved and we are all richer for having spent time on earth with you!
Written by “Preeeesilla” as he liked to tease me.
The Jackson Family: Greg, Perk, Bruce and Wally 1977 in Avalon, New Jersey
(Picture taken by Sam)

One Response to “Perk and Wally Jackson”

  1. Perk Jackson says:

    On this special day, March 23rd, 2010….
    we’re thinking of our special brother whose 90th birthday is today! But….we
    think of him every day, not only on this
    wonderful day of his birth! So many
    great memories to be thankful for!
    Love, Wally and Perk

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